#lonelyYEG

Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
Nisku, Alberta, Canada

I’m not sure if it’s the setting sun, the way the Edmonton International Airport’s feature entertainer is serenading in a pitch perfect acoustic medley, or the way the body walks just a little bit slower and smaller after coming home from a grand adventure.. But I feel overwhelmed by the empty feeling of a jarringly quiet return home.

                                         “The world is so big… I want to go play.” 

Returning home, I choose to remain focused on the positive opportunities that arise with a broken foot and a career that demands my physical body. As my foot heals, I have the time to find so much that blazes my restless soul.
     Maybe I’ll learn a song on guitar? 
           Maybe I’ll learn some Hindi?
                 Maybe I’ll start piecing together the plans of a Southeast Asia exploration? 

              Oh the things you can do, when you can’t do the things you need to do.

The lonely timbre of Purple Rain in a humbly soft rhythm,
The gentle heat lamp warmth of the setting sun.,
Watching the rise and fall of each plain en route,
Feeling the glow of sun flirting with my platinum hair
Shimmering a soft haze of pink and lavender regret.

“PAGING PRESSLEE TO GATE 49 C”

Bewildered.
I check my watch.
“Fuck.”

I go now, almost missing my flight.
I am enroute home to Grande Prairie.
All is safe and well,
I know this to be true.

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(Feels like) Home.

The West Coast Runaway
Pacific Coast Hostel, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

If Whistler taught me to find the courage to sit in moments of extreme anxiety, returning to Vancouver is giving me the canvas to explore slowing down just enough to listen in to what my body needs.

I have had my successes today (resting when feeling a throbbing pain in the foot of my broken navicular bone, taking a mid-day siesta instead of trekking back into the intoxicating town, taking time to just gaze at the Sauder School of Business at UBC like a love sick puppy) and the not so successful moments (saying screw it to healthier options for dinner and hobbling over to Triple O’s for a Bacon Cheddar Burger + Sweet Potato fries (#worstvegetarianEVER), only to recognize after inhaling my sweet potato fries that I am full and should take the burger home with me – which then was concluded with me eating every meaty bite until it was gone).

I found myself pondering while sitting on a weathered wooden bench across the pathway from my bucket list wannabe postsecondary business school, the importance yoga has had on my life and how it is bridging me towards the life I want.

You see, I’m not involved in yoga for the physical benefits, the cute outfits, the feeling of community/ tribe with being a member of a studio, and certainly NOT to balance on my head…

I am on my mat as of late to develop an inner awareness so I can continue on my journey with ease. This isn’t a mystical floofy concept imagined when you may think of those eccentrics personalities speaking in exotic tongue and swaying with the smokey purr of tantalizing incense.

It’s the simplicity of being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a possible anxiety attack, allowing me to take preventative measures. It’s being able to recognize tension in my body and possibly observing the linking factor of a short, shallow breath that may be accompanying it. It’s being able to recognize that voice, that feeling, of negative emotion – witness it, experience it and let it go. It’s knowing that whatever I desire the most, will come to me when I’m at my most centered and balanced.

There are a lot of “I should be….”‘s floating around my head right now.
“I should be in Grande Prairie.”
“I should be studying, reading, learning..” 
“I should be doing this. Not that.” 

And the really cool thing about building the skills acquired from a yoga practice is to remember to stick to the absolute basics.

My body needs time to heal.
I need to rest my foot, to allow the bone to repair itself.
In an event where difficult emotions may already arise, I also need to take time to do what feels good for the soul.

Right now, what feels good for the soul is being here in Vancouver. (Give it some time and it won’t be good for the pocket!) But in a moment where I feel constricted, confined and suffocated from anxiety, it is my job to take the time to be in an environment that revives me emotionally, mentally and yes- spiritually. There is little physical difference between being here and being in Grande Prairie – but at least here, in the beautiful city of Van-city, I have the endless ocean to gaze into as I rest my foot. I deserve this rest. And I also deserve to wobble down the streets of this intoxicating city, just me and my boot!

 

 

Just keep walking.

I may have found the peace of Whistler, in the chaos of Wanderlust:
Florence Patersen Park.

I am here.
Wondering.
What is next?

What is next after this perch?
– this day?
– this departure?
– this return?

What’s worse?
Feeling like I can’t keep up?
Or feeling like I’ve been left behind?

Oh, I know, the silly twist of dissecting feelings.
I know they are not real.

Being here is real.
– The feeling I don’t belong here is not?

So what next?
What does a fawn with a broken hoof do?

“Just keep walking.”

 

To yin yoga school!

West Coast Runaway
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

4 am.
I am awake.
I crave more time but lack the length of a full REM cycle.
I need to be at Sempervia Yoga Studio’s Sea Side Studio by 6:30 am to register for my 7 day course for yin yoga.
Starting the day, I pack light. This translates to pocket size digital camera, a book, my journal and my laptop. I venture down Agricultural road on UBC campus to meet the #84 bus. “Tomorrow – ditch the laptop,” I decide.

6:30 am.
Calm and grounded,
    moving with ease.
To Granville Island,
    via the 84.

To live in this dream
    is a fair reward.
Surviving the friction
    of aggressive routine. 

Having retraced my steps from yesterday’s navigation, I am registered, unpacked and nestled in my mat. I feel gentle risings of claustrophobia, as black Lululemon studio mats have all been pre-placed too close for my comfort. “Just breathe,” I remind myself.

My instructor, Bernie Clark, is much taller than I imagined him to be. He is equipped with pin straight posture that does not waiver. I must admit, how surreal it feels to be in his classroom, after studying from his online videos.

We all introduce ourselves, introducing creating a passport of the world.
Students from France, Australia, Sweden, Germany, America, and beyond!
I am stunned by how few Canadians there are here. I feel a sense of gratitude for being in this course with this instructor and these students. How far his reputation has traveled. I look forward to all that I will learn. I know I am exactly where I need to be.

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Exploration to the Sea

Wreck Beach
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I woke up this morning at 4:30 am (PDT/ pacific daylight time) with a full toned desire to find a nice sandy beach and unroll my yoga mat for a morning practice. The excitement was met with caution – when I travel alone, I play it safe. Now, would there actually be dangers and/or creepers out at 4:30 am on a Sunday morning at a public beach? I don’t know! Nor do I really enjoy to find out. Unable to go back to sleep, I become lost in the abyss of my phone mapping out how to get there. By 6:40 am, I can’t take it any longer, I need to go. NOW.

Dressing to match the uninspired skies outside, I quickly changed into black thermal pants, black racer back tank top and a navy blue caribbean. I woke up with my blonde locks emitting free spirited beach waves that gently graze above my shoulders, so I just my hair be, only bringing a couple hair pins just in case. For better or worse, (it ended up being for the worse..) I roll up my newly purchased Bmat yoga mat nice and snug, packing also my camera, journal, sunblock and sunglasses. I’m off to find the ocean.

The best travel companion is google maps. The worst travel companion is a phone that doesn’t hold a charged battery. I trust my navigating skills to know if I can have just enough battery life to find my destination, getting home is a breeze. I leave the UBC grounds, and wander down Vancouver’s NW Marine Drive. I know the only thing separating me from the glorious ocean waves is this thick “jungle” like forest. I find a lonely path into the haze of lush green, and find what seems to be an endless journey of stairs going down. I can already feel dread in tknowing this staircase will be waiting for me when it’s time to go.

The air continues to get heavier and the rhythmic ocean waves volume begins to crescendo. When I catch my first glimpse, I am almost knocked off my feet in a childlike excitment. I’ve always been inspired by the ocean; it’s only fitting that I was born into the astrological sign Pisces. I savour this moment, know this too, shall pass.

 Life truly is beautiful. 

 

Little Buddha, Big Canadian

Saturday, May 28th, 2016
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
c/o The Road to India: Chapter 5, Lonely Rishikesh

Little Buddha, Big Canadian

A café with Tibetan ambiance,
Flags in the air to welcome home all,
Whispering, with elegance,
Over looking the holy Ganges River.

Kinley’s soda water + lemon,
With fatigue + heat exhaustion.
Sleep was thieved by moments of musical memories.
Sleep can wait for days that have less merit than these.

The music of Tibet, in a Hindu’s shrine,
Oh lonley, lonely, little Rishikesh.

Locals touring their own country,
I hear their Celebratory cheers,
Rafting down the holy river,
Gifted from the Himalayas.

I am unaware of where I truly am.
A walking meditation. A dream.
You take it in, all of it. Absorb.
But don’t let it seduce.

“You are a guest, this is not home.” Such a saddening thought. 

Music, Music, Music.
Calls to me.
Speaks for my father.
Speaks for all I want.

I am awake in this dream.
With open eyes and open heart.
A big Canadian, in a Little Buddha Café.

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